Karonga, : United States African Development Foundation (USADF), an independent agency of the United States government, has awarded Kaporo Smallholder Farmers Association (KASFA) a grant of K 178, 330,191.
USADF Country Programme Coordinator for Malawi, Lynda Ndovie Jere made the announcement Wednesday in Karonga with a call that the grant should assist the association to increase its working capital, procure modern production equipment, among others.
Our main objective is to work with marginalised people in the communities so that they improve their livelihood, therefore, considering what KASFA is doing we thought of funding the association.
The association has potential to ramp up rice production. We have received some reports that they have already penetrated international markets, so it is exactly what we are looking for, she said
Jere asked the KASFA members to use the money for the intended purpose, warning that if used for their personal gains, the funds will be withdrawn.
KASFA Union Board Chairperson, Howard Msukwa thanked USADF for the grant, saying it would go a long way in alleviating the challenges the farmers were facing.
He cited transportation of produce to markets as one of the challenges farmers were facing and has since assured the farmers that part of the money would be used to buy a lorry for the association.
We have been hiring vehicles to ferry our produce to the markets at a very high cost and this has been reducing profits. We are also going to have our own modern rice mill which will enable us reduce maintenance expenses, Msukwa said.
KASFA, a Kilombero rice growing association, was officially registered in 2003.
It is situated in Karonga district and currently has a membership of 5,332 and sells most of its produce to the National Smallholder Farmers Association (NASFAM).
Source: MANA Online